Past Features

April 25, 2015

The Real Cost of Illegal Immigration in California
Millions here illegally limit drought solutions
Bloomberg View -- April 2, 2015  
The Real Cost of California's Drought 
    As California heads into its fourth year of drought, Governor Jerry Brown is taking the unprecedented step of ordering mandatory rationing: Brown issued an executive order seeking a mandatory 25 percent reduction in use and a requirement that new homes feature water-efficient irrigation if the builder plans to use potable water for landscaping. He also called for 50 million square feet of lawns to be replaced with drought-tolerant landscaping and required campuses, golf courses and cemeteries to cut back on water.
    California has to do something -- many of its reservoirs are half-empty, and the Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides much of California's water, is far below normal levels. But that doesn't mean it should do this particular thing. California's proposal is far too heavy on top-down regulatory management, and far too light on pricing. [...]
    If we're truly worried about the poor, we could set some minimum amount of water that would be sold at a very cheap rate, with any excess charged at market rates to reflect the actual supply and the cost of providing it. This would be hugely unpopular with homeowners who have big lawns as well as with farmers. And perhaps the fabulous array of California produce would be reduced. But that seems like a reasonable price to pay for keeping California's reservoirs from running dry.

Glenn Spencer -- American Patrol Report
Paid Leave a Solution?
   There are millions of poor people in California because of the Los Angeles Times-led the effort to stop enforcement of our immigration laws. Poor people with large families use far more water per household than average, and they cannot afford to pay higher rates. This has made the problem worse, and solutions difficult.
    I have proposed the "Paid Leave" program, and it could well be a solution.
    There is plenty of water in Southern Mexico --- Chiapas has more than 120 inches of rainfall each year.
    And consider all the wonderful Mexican destinations where good policies could create new jobs.
    Instead of paying billions for desalination plants and higher food prices, maybe we should pay the illegals to go home.
    There are lots of reasons for having immigration laws passed by Congress after extensive debate and thought. California is just another example of what happens when those laws are broken.